I love this time of year. The days are short, dark, and cold. Or coldish. Or what passes for cold here in SoCal.
Quarter's over over. Grades are posted. Grading portfolios was both the most heartwarming and heartbreaking task I've had as a writing teacher. I am so, so proud of my students. Some of them really excelled. Some of them dropped the ball. One of them dropped the ball, kicked it, ran after it, and stabbed it with a pencil.
There's always one student like that.
Some of them will be sad about their grades. It's so hard for them to separate an evaluation of their work from an evaluation of their self. I get that. I used to feel sick with every fiction rejection I got. Now I am usually either relieved (oh good, one more off the list! Next!) or annoyed (are you kidding? You made me wait 3 months for that? Honestly.)
But 18 and 19 year olds don't have that armor yet. Well. Most of them. Some of them have lived through shit that makes my hair curl a little. I'm always surprised by how much they'll tell you, if they think you're listening and that you care (which I do, both). My course director (who is not the same as last year's, and is totally awesomely amazingly awesome, with awesome sauce) forbids personal narratives of any kind because they're so raw and heart-stabby. I encourage them for exactly that reason. Anyway. Good quarter. Good kids. Glad it's over.
There is a curry meatball (buffalo and boar) stew in the slowcooker, and thanks to Nous, a bucket of kale salad made and stored. Now we're waiting for my parents to make their way up from San Diego. They are coming, of course, just in time for the first winter storm of the year. My mother always complains how hot it is out here. Well, Mom, it's not gonna be hot for the next couple days. Or even warm. She's probably not gonna love the rain, though. I would mind it less if we didn't have outdoor plans. Nous and I will slog through rain. That is precisely why I have cowboy-boot shaped rubber rainboots with skulls and roses printed on them, and we both have heavy Aussie oilcan drovers. Ain't no rain gonna bother us. --But I suspect, for all their insistence that they like rain, don't mind weather, etc, the parents will be less sanguine about stomping through the puddles and rivulets in the Safari Park.
Then again, they don't have my boots.